Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It Won't Rain Forever

Hi Friends,

Yesterday it didn't just rain around here, the sky dumped buckets of water. I think we got about 5 inches. And with the rain we got leaks, pools, rivers, streams, ponds, and a lot of wet everywhere. Bryan spent the afternoon siphoning off a pool of water that was threatening the basement, while trying to keep the horses dry, their pens from flooding, and the temporary shelter we had made for one of them from collapsing. It was a crazy day.

But this morning, the sun is peeking through white clouds, the rain has stopped, and it's a new day. So, as I sat down at my computer this morning, in my rain-stained chair (yes, I had a leak in my skylight yesterday - right over my chair!), I remembered a story from back in my early days of infertility before we had any children. And as I recalled the story I was struck by the wonder of God's grace and mercy.

Back in those years, I wrote about infertility like this:

Infertility, I have found, is a journey, a monthly journey that swings between hope and disappointment, and rarely leaves me unchanged. It always starts the same, with that insidious whisper of hope. Could this be the month? Could I be pregnant? I feel a little pain and wonder if it means something. My stomach flutters, and I think that perhaps it’s morning sickness. I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up again, but I can’t help it. I count the days. Twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight. I hold my breath. Twenty-nine, I release it. Thirty. Two days late. Thirty-one. This is it! Thirty-two. The bleeding starts. My heart breaks. Again.

This month was no different. I sat on the edge of my bed and told myself not to cry. But I cried anyway. Great, raindrop-sized tears. I wrapped my arms around myself and looked out the window. Storm clouds gathered in the sky. I shivered, hating the weather, hating the tightness in my throat, the wetness on my cheeks. Every month it was the same, hope and disappointment chasing each other in countless loops along the path of my life.

The sound of a chair scraping against linoleum penetrated my senses. A dish clattered in the sink. I grabbed a tissue and tried to stifle my tears.

Footsteps echoed in the hallway. I sighed and opened the door. In a moment, my husband Bryan reached the bedroom. For a full minute, he stood in the doorway, not knowing if he should come in and try to comfort me, or just turn around and walk away. Our eyes met. He shook his head. “Not this month either, huh?”

I didn’t answer.

Slowly, he left the bedroom and ambled back to the kitchen. I returned to the bed and sat on the edge. My hand moved over the rough patchwork quilt made by my grandmother. An heirloom, something to be passed down from generation to generation. I frowned and reached for the sweater that was tossed across my pillow.

Then, something unusual happened. Something that didn’t happen the previous month, or the month before. A shaft of light, bright and warm, sliced through the clouds to illuminate a patchwork rose. I watched the light, then glanced up and out the window. There, in the distance, beyond the storm, a rainbow arched through the sky. Purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red, the colors stood in brilliant contrast to the grayness of the day.

I caught my breath and remembered a promise given thousands of years ago. A vow from Genesis 9:12-17 that it would not rain forever. God’s assurance of love, His guarantee that the sun will shine again.

I stood and rested my elbows on the windowsill. Outside it was still dark, still dreary. But in the distance, I saw a break in the clouds. There, the sun flickered through. And in that moment, I got a glimpse of the path of my life. As I live through the storm of infertility, the way is dark and full of tears. But somewhere out there, the rains will cease. Someday, all this will be behind me. God has promised me that much. God has promised that He will not leave me nor forsake me. He has promised me the rainbow.

So, I look to the future and learn to see this month’s disappointment against the backdrop of eternity. I tell myself to keep my eye, not on today’s pain, but on the goal of a life lived in a way worthy of Christ, who calls me His own. For I know that someday I will bask in the Son.

Today, as I look outside after yesterday's big rain and remember all the long years of infertility, I realize that the storm has passed at last. No more infertility treatments, no more months of checking, hoping, waiting. After twenty years, that's behind me. The rains really did end, the rainbow really did come.

So, I encourage you today, if you're in the midst of a storm, hang in there! The rain doesn't last forever. The sun will shine again.